MSI Application Packaging

Friday, January 21, 2005

Know Your GUIDs....

There are 4 important GUIDs (Globally Unique Identifiers ie {CC66F1F1-0021-45db-A3B7-0138C96B1A33} ) you need to understand and be aware of when packaging and distributing apps.

Product Code
Product Codes identify a product and only get changed when a major version upgrade takes place. ie MyApp 1.0 and MyApp 1.1 would have the same Product Code (the upgrade would get handled by a patch) however MyApp1 .0 and MyApp 2.0 would have different Product Codes.

Upgrade Code
Nice easy one this as the upgrade code must always remain the same for the application no matter what version the application is.

Package Code
Each MSI you create and distribute no matter what application/version should always have its own package code.

Component Code
Each component within the MSI has a unique Component GUID code although if you have more than one application trying to share a component in common eg a DLL used by other applications then Windows Installer doesn't have to install it twice. Component ID's can generally be left well alone as Installshield/Wise will look after them.

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